John R. Crawford-Spinelli | School of Theatre and Dance | Kent State University

John R. Crawford-Spinelli

John R. Crawford-Spinelli

John Crawford

Dr. Crawford-Spinelli currently serves as Dean of the College of the Arts. From 2006-2009 he held the position of Associate Dean and from 1996-2006 he served as Director of the School of Theatre and Dance at Kent State University and Producing Director of Porthouse Theatre, a professional URTA theatre in Summit County, OH that is in affiliation with Kent State University. He has taught as part of the dance and theatre faculty at Kent since 1988 and became a full Professor in 2001. Within the School of Theatre & Dance, he also has served as Artistic Director of the Kent Dance Ensemble and as Dance Coordinator.

Prior to his appointment at KSU, Dr. Crawford-Spinelli was musical director in Dance at James Madison University in VA and served as adjunct faculty at Temple University in Philadelphia. Crawford-Spinelli has performed professionally as a dancer and actor with such companies as the Richmond Ballet, VCU Dance Company, Kings Productions, Busch Entertainment Corporation, Ann Vachon/Dance Conduit and Porthouse Theatre. He performed for eleven years with Leaven Dance Company, a professional sacred dance company. 

Crawford-Spinelli’s specific interest includes dance theatre work and musical theatre choreography and he has choreographed numerous musicals including Bye Bye Birdie and Damn Yankees at Cain Park Theatre and Cabaret at the Halle Theatre. Crawford-Spinelli choreographed Brigadoon, Oklahoma!, Guys & Dolls, West Side Story, Sweet Charity and The Music Man at Porthouse Theatre, receiving a Cleveland Times Tribute award for his 2003 choreography of Oklahoma! While at Kent State, Dr. Crawford-Spinelli has continued to nationally teach master classes, set commissioned choreography and present dance research.

Job Title

Dean and Professor

Job Department

College of the Arts